Monday, December 28, 2009


Why the laughing? Because comical former Tampa Bay Lightning GM Jay "Richard Branson" Feaster has inserted his two cents into the raging "Why does Ilya Kovalchuk allow his agent to terrorize the city of Atlanta?"/"Is Don Waddell as hapless as he sometimes appears to be?" debate, via this morning's edition of The Hockey News.

Basically Feaster says that when he was managing the Lightning the primary goal was to make a run for the playoffs every year, end of story, bottom line, consequences be damned. As the Romans liked to say, "Fiat justitia ruat caelum." He never traded good UFA players for valuable assets, and as a result the Lightning made the playoffs like four times and even won a Stanley Cup. Also, Pavel Kubina and Ruslan Fedotenko and Nikolai Khabibulin (whose agent was and is a certain Jay Grossman) left forever.

Feaster adopts a "learn from my mistakes" attitude in the article, admonishing Waddell to go ahead and trade Kovalchuk, so that the Thrashers don't end up like the Lightning and make the post-season several seasons in a row and win the Stanley Cup. THIS IS VERY CURIOUS.

Obviously Feaster has a point, especially when you consider what a botched nut-burning failed terrorist attack the Lightning are today (not that the Thrashers are, at the moment, much better). Then again the Lightning might be in such a sorry state partially because they fired Jay Feaster. But then again...

Basically, your editor has no fucking clue what's going to happen with Kovalchuk or with the Thrashers' chances of making the playoffs, and he has no wisdom to offer on what the sensible thing to do with Kovy might be. Neither, probably, does Jay Feaster. I figure it's more prudent to just give up hope now and wait for a glorious post-apocalyptic playoff run in 2012, but I hardly think it's out of the question this season...

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Even though Jay Grossman is the agent for both of these transactions,

1. Ilya Kovalchuk is not Nikolai Khabibulin.
2. The current Thrashers needs are not the same as 2002-2006 Lightning needs.
3. Don Waddell is not Jay Feaster.

Jay said...

Is number three a good thing or a bad thing?

Wayne stuck in AL said...

Several weeks ago, Puck Daddy said (in so many words) that a max contract (like Ilya wants) should only be given to:
1. Elite players, and
2. Gate attractions.

The jury is out on 1, and Ilya ain't no gate attraction in an area of blacks and white Southerners, so it's time to let him go. Whether it's via trade or wait until after, hopefully, a playoff run is up to Waddell and Atlanta Spirit.

Razor Catch Prey said...

Not sure what my own opinion is, but there is an argument to be made that a playoff run will put more butts in seats long term than Kovy signing a long term contract.

If DW can't re-sign Kovy, but hangs on to him for a playoff run, the arena will be at maximum capacity at the end of the year to watch the most exciting team we've ever had here. That means people getting to see hockey for the first time. It will make an impression, and they'll be back next year as long at the team isn't awful.

In that scenario, DW would have to throw all of that would-be-Kovy-money at some more guys who would keep the attention of those new fans. Market Ondrej, Evander, Bogo, and Pevs like crazy as well as whoever he brings in during the off season to take Kovy's money.


Or you can just pay Kovalchuk 20% of the team's allowable salary, let Bogo, Enstrom, Kubina, Fins, Army, and Little leave by free agency when we can't afford to re-sign them, and market Kovy alone on a team that misses the playoffs for the next six years.